Week 11 in the TCL featured a highly anticipated matchup between Cobra Kai and Barons FC. With all of the pre-game smack talk between these two squads, this game was shaping up to be anything but friendly. Cobra Kai Captain Ivan Gojmerac all but guaranteed a victory by boldly stating “We’re going to take them out, sweep the leg!”
Cobra Kai jumped out of the gate early, backing up their brash threats with a ‘strike first, strike-often, no mercy strategy. A beautiful combination of passes from Metin Guler to Dan Trojanowski and then to Hadi Alnahlawi dazed the Barons who could only watch as Hadi’s shot went just wide of the net. Baron’s keeper Bradley Hughes, battling a vicious Popeye elbow, showed us why he’s strong to the finish and he eats his spinach, making a number of unbelievable point-blank saves. Cobra keeper Mutlu was equally as solid at the other end denying Barons chances with cat-like reflexes. In the final minute of the 1st half, still scoreless, Baron striker Seamus Lynott would not be denied, circling the perimeter like a hungry shark blasted a low hard shot into the back of the net. 1-0 Barons as the whistle blew.
More of the same in the 2nd half, with Cobra pressing relentlessly, Eric Abel would not be denied, breaking Paul Callahan’s ankles and blasting a shot top corner. Not even Popeye himself would have saved that one. Baron superstars John Di Re and Victor would provide the KO punches to put Cobra down for the count. 4-1 final score!
~ Paul Callahan
Clubber Lang was finally able to climb out of the bottom of the league after winning 3 -1 in their second home game of the season against the D-Mentors. Some say (aka me) the three points were long overdue after the D-Mentors destroyed Clubber Lang 3-0 and 4-1 in the 2 previous meetings.
The game started with a shadow casted on Clubber Lang as they have never gotten a single point off the D-Mentors (seriously though, someone forgot to turn on the lights on our side). D-Mentors were able to coast through Clubber’s defense like a hot knife through butter (to be fair, it was dark, they had dark uniforms and were really fast). Keeper Kevin (thank you Kevin!) kept Clubber in the game by making a string of fine saves. Things got worse for Clubber Lang when Alex Salcedo caught the defense napping and calmly slotted past the goalie to make it 1 – 0. Clubber captain Alex Wong was furious with the goal and rallied the team to play together and try to equalize. The team was rewarded when Alex hit a fine shot that slipped past D-Mentor’s goalie to tie the game at 1 – 1. For the remaining half there were chances from both sides with Alex coming the closest to scoring with a fine header that came off the crossbar (do we have budget for goal line tech next year? It looked a goal from my angle). Half Time: 1 – 1
2nd half started with Clubber Lang making a change as captain Alex was unable to continue (No.. he wasn’t injured, he had to go to some Maternity/Pregnancy/Prenatal group reunion thingy with the Ms.. Not really sure what that is… probably for the ladies to come together and show off how much weight they were able to lose after the pregnancy?). The 2nd half was played in a similar pattern where there were attacks back and forth from both teams. Clubber Lang got the advantage through Dan Newman planting a header across to the keeper’s left after connecting with a delicious cross from new signing Andrew Winnett. D-Mentors upped their attack after the goal, but were caught pushing too many players forward as Dan Newman again had time to get his shot out from 3 yards outside the penalty area that got past D-Mentor’s goalie. The D-Mentors poured on the pressure late but couldn’t find the back of the net. Full Time: Clubber Lang 3 – 1 D-Mentors
~ Markos Lau
The primetime game featured the Renegades and the Spartans. The Renegades came into the game with not having lost since November and a chance to tie D-Mentors for 2nd place in the league standings. The Spartans were looking to put an end to the Renegades streak and gain some traction in the second half of the season.
The newest addition to the Renegades, Neil Carey, wasted no time in showing why he was such a valuable pick up by scoring within the first couple minutes of the game. However, that lead was short-lived as the Spartans battled back with Duy sliding one past Kev from a near impossible angle. With the game tied 1-1 the Renegades knew they needed to distance themselves from the high-powered Spartans. Brett Baker was able make a great run and pick a corner like he has all season to give Renegades the lead. Adding to the lead late in the half, Baker made a beautiful pass behind the Spartan defenders to a wide open Theo who had enough time to call the family and ask what was for dinner, text the girlfriend and write half this game recap before he shot the ball into the bottom corner. Brad was not pleased. The score was now 3-1 Renegades after the first half.
The second half stayed primarily in the middle of the field until Duy was able to slip past the defense from a great long ball from Brad and capture his second goal of the night. With time winding down and the Spartans within reach, JJ decided he had enough of Fernando’s chirping. The Jerunaut took over. Making a brilliant run down the left side with a defender on his back JJ made a great play to tie the game 3-3. The Renegades could smell 2nd place and made one final push. With great passing between Baker, Natasha and Fernando they were able to cap off a tic-tac-toe play to Neil for his second within the last minutes of the game. Final score Renegades 4 Spartans 3.
~ Theo Blanchard